National AJET is often asked questions about the labor rights of JET participants, and disputes with contracting organizations. We have compiled the following information to address frequently asked questions:
The prescribed path for all issues between a JET participant and their contracting organization is to speak to the CO directly, then consult with your Prefectural Advisor if problems persist. If you do not know who your PA is, ask members of your local JET community. If you still can not find your PA, National AJET can try to help you locate them. Contact your Block Representative, or the Chair if your block has no representative.
If problems persist, you may be able to escalate your complaint to CLAIR, local authorities, a union, or even the police, depending on your situation. The National AJET council is very limited in how much it can get involved in such disputes, because it has no legal authority concerning your contract, and its representatives are volunteers who can not give legal advice.
National AJET is not a labor union. It is a volunteer advocacy group. National AJET advocates for the working conditions of JET participants by collecting data in surveys and presenting it to CLAIR, MEXT, and other ministries associated with the JET Programme in meetings known as Opinion Exchanges. This is distinct from union activity, and the legal status of National AJET is also distinct from that of a labor union.
Yes, all JET participants can join a labor union. Common choices include the Tozen Union and the General Union. For questions about what the unions can and cannot do for JET participants who are members, and the legal rights of JET participants in the workplace, please see the websites of the respective unions.